The most recent update from Janet Crame and their amazing band of volunteers.
As promised, here is the update on what is happening with Wraysbury & Horton Voluntary Care. Apologies that it has slipped from being a weekly update to rather more ad hoc, but we’ve been a tad busy
Finance Report from Stuart
Finances all in order and working without a hitch. Shopping bills are being paid regularly and I now have a card reader which has been used successfully twice so far. I have applied for a small grant from the Shanley Foundation to support us so fingers crossed and local people are being asked to donate and donations have been gratefully received.
Helpline report from Tim and Carolyn
The Helpline has taken around 20 or so calls this week. Some are return shopping requests but some have been new requests for help either directly or from neighbours or friends. In all cases, we have been able to respond positively, passing on shopping queries to Helen, pharmacy questions to Simon and other concerns to the pastoral care team.
Pastoral Care report
There are 8 main Pastoral Care volunteers, mentored by Erica, all of whom remain very busy. They are making regular calls to more than 40 residents in the Village who are isolated and seem to appreciate the contact. It is worth saying that some of these are coping very well and merely want a brief chat now and then. However, there are some who are very definitely struggling, and the Pastoral Team are really doing a good job to keep their spirits up and help them with problems as and when they arise.
Shopping report from Helen
The shopping hub is running smoothly especially as we have now ironed out the creases from the process by which our customers pay their accounts. We continue to have an average of two or three requests per day during the week with only the occasional one at weekends giving us a bit of a break.
By the end of the week we had 28 people on our books and we had done shopping for 23 of them. The total cost of the shopping came to a tad over £750. Just under half our customers have had more than one shop done for them and for five of these we are doing a weekly shop.
All of our customers are extremely grateful for what we are doing even when the occasional mistake has been made! They are relieved and reassured to know that we are there for them to make sure that they have food to eat. Keep up the good work shoppers.
Volunteers report from Dianne
We haven’t had any movement on volunteers this week, mainly because we have had to pause. If any current working volunteers want to take a break, please let Dianne know. You won’t be letting anyone down as we do have enough new volunteers as back up! Dianne has sent out the following email to all our volunteers to keep them in the loop.
We have had an amazing and unprecedented level of response to our call for local volunteers to help within our Wraysbury and Horton Voluntary Care hubs. These hubs have been expanded to help and support local residents across Wraysbury and Horton villages via the main helpline, shopping, pharmacy deliveries, meals on wheels, driving to appointments and pastoral care telephone calls.
We now have over sixty volunteers registered with us!!
At the moment we have a full complement of volunteers who are currently working. In addition to that, we have a reserve bank of new volunteers who will be contacted if current volunteers fall ill, or who just need to take a well-deserved break from their duties. The new volunteers have also been incredibly useful in helping us to deliver leaflets and letters to every household by hand, and we are extremely grateful to each and every volunteer for their contribution to date.
We want to take good care of, and retain, all the current volunteers we have. For this reason, we have decided to pause any new recruitment of volunteers at this current time.
There are still other opportunities to volunteer within the community, please visit the RBWM volunteer opportunities webpage; https://wamgetsrecycling.co.uk/covid-19-volunteering/
However, this does seem to be a universal problem. There have also been news reports of volunteers in all areas, including those who have offered to come back to the NHS, not being taken up. So it’s not just us.
Pharmacy – report from Simon
At the pharmacy everything is running smoothly, our terrific team of volunteers, having had to jump over the DBS hurdles are back into their routine. Their biggest challenge I think, being the number of addresses with house names and not numbers!
All the feedback from our grateful patients has been extremely positive and we at the pharmacy really appreciate all the help and support they are continuing to give us and the community.
Today (Tuesday) our driver went to deliver to a patient who had collapsed this morning, and had been lying on the floor for two hours, she called me and with some help we were quickly able to get her sorted and comfortable. This is a timely reminder, as volunteers, we are often the only people who call at vulnerable people’s homes, please always be aware that if there is no answer there might be an issue… and when you do visit them spare a moment to check on them, how are they coping with isolation… and let us know if you or they have any needs or concerns.
We continue to receive some food bank donations which are being delivered to the Village Hall and then delivered to me at the Garden House. We are supplying around 12 bags of food a week at the moment, although some of this is augmented from other sources. Carly has put a request on FB for food donations but has had to underline that we don’t actually want to hand out out-of-date food or opened packets!
Media report from Carly
Media is going well .
Henry is still doing his weekly video updates which we understand are much appreciated. .
Ginge (John Dewhurst) held a live concert on Sunday from his garden via the Wraysbury Pub FB page. So far the proceeds raised are in excess of £1500, all of which will be donated to WHVC . It also seems to have raised the profile of what we do and brought in some positive comments about plans for the future, including an offer of help from the Landlord of the Perseverance,
Other would-be donors have also been in contact wishing to hand over money to us.
I’ve spoken with David Buckley and Jason Gibbons from Datchet Corona Volunteers and as of Monday we will be working together providing meals for key workers. These are produced by Nibbles café in Datchet and they are now offering the same service to Wraysbury & Horton Key Workers.
We have also applauded the George’s free meal service – on their FB page – and expressed the hope that they will work with us in the future!
Meals on Wheels
Our numbers continue to increase – we now have 20 people on the list who have asked for meals. Fortunately, mainly (I suspect) due to the free service which The George is offering 3 days a week, and the Club’s fish & chips on Friday service, not everyone wants meals every day. We have had to split the deliveries between two or more drivers to make sure that food arrives hot. This also allows some interaction with people as often we are the only real person they see in a day. As of this Friday, we will be collecting fish and chips from the Village Club who have kindly agreed to provide smaller portions for the meals on wheels clients. We will be adding pudding and still carrying out the deliveries ourselves, but it will take some of the weight off.
I now also have bi-weekly volunteer help with vegetable peeling And the puddings keep coming. Thank Heavens!
Other General Notes – New Family Hub
Dianne has written to the local schools outlining our services. We know that this information has been received and is being circulated to parents of children in Wraysbury and Horton. Unfortunately, we also know that in some cases, families are struggling with hardship, stress and isolation issues. So we have now set up a ‘family hub’ to offer help and advice wherever we can. Benta Hickley has agreed to take on the co-ordinator role for this and will be getting a couple of new volunteers to help who have previous experience of helping with family issues. Tim and Carolyn will pass new calls through to Benta to assess what help is needed and find the right people to assist.
Many thanks to everyone who continues to work hard for and support the Voluntary Care cause. Please do let me know if you have any problems, or if you have new ideas of how we can continue to improve what we do.